Post and Courier, Conflict Surrounds Charleston School of Law Land Deal, With Nearly $13M at Stake:
When Charleston sold land to the for-profit Charleston School of Law 16 years ago, at a discount, the plan was for CSOL to build a school there, not flip the property to a hotel developer for a huge profit.
Now, with a $12,850,000 sale pending and a nine-story hotel planned on the property at Meeting and Woolfe streets, City Council has been delaying the sale. CSOL President Ed Bell calls it a “shakedown” and warns that the city could be sued.
“The city has lots of risks from being cute and smart about this,” said Bell, a Georgetown lawyer. “If you’re going to do a shakedown, you’d better be right.”
It’s a dispute about money, expectations and an amended deal the city signed in 2017.
In that deal, the city agreed that although CSOL hadn’t built a school, it could sell the property at 431 Meeting St. The city would get 25 percent of the money — minus the $875,000 that CSOL paid for the land and some smaller deductions.
Add it up and the city would get just over $2 million from the sale, council members have been told. ...
The city’s original 2005 agreement said Charleston would get the property back if CSOL didn’t use it “for law school purposes and the permanent development or construction to facilitate such usage” within six years. The deal was later extended for another six years, and when that time expired in 2017, CSOL claimed that the deal didn’t actually require them to build a school there.
That’s when the city agreed to allow the property to be sold, with CSOL getting most of the profit.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Charleston Law School Signs Management Agreement With InfiLaw. Is Sale Next? (July 27, 2013)
- Charleston Law School Agrees to Buyout by InfiLaw, but Solicits Other Offers (Aug. 28, 2013)
- ABA-Accredited Law School Listed for Sale on Craigslist (Sept. 10, 2013)
- Charleston Law School Faculty Oppose Sale to InfiLaw (May 15, 2014)
- South Carolina Committee Rejects InfiLaw Purchase of Charleston Law School (May 20, 2014)
- Charleston Law School Founders Withdrew $25 Million in Profits, Leaving School in Precarious Financial Condition (May 25, 2014)
- Charleston Law School Founder Opposes InfiLaw's Proposed Acquisition, Offers to Donate His 1/3 Interest to Create Nonprofit Law School (May 30, 2014)
- NY Times on InfiLaw's Proposed Acquisition of Charleston Law School (June 4, 2014)
- Charleston Law School Agrees to Buyout by InfiLaw, but Solicits Other Offers (Aug. 28, 2014)
- ABA Recommends Approval of Sale of Charleston Law School to InfiLaw (Nov. 9, 2014)
- Maryann Jones, Hired as Charleston Law School President Under Renewable 3-Month Contract, Resigns After 8 Days on the Job (Nov. 22, 2014)
- ABA Approves Duncan Law School, Defers Action on InfiLaw’s Acquisition of Charleston Law School (Dec. 9, 2014)
- InfiLaw Ramps Up Lobbying For Approval of Acquisition of Charleston Law School (Dec. 15, 2014)
- Local Government Rejects InfiLaw, Backs Nonprofit Takeover of Charleston Law School(Dec. 16, 2014)
- InfiLaw Op-Ed On Charleston Law School's Deteriorating Financial Position (Apr. 27, 2015)
- Charleston Law School May Not Enroll Students In Fall; Owners Who Withdrew $25m In Profits Refuse To Pay $21k For Graduation Reception; Students With $147k Average Debt Take Up Collection (May 7, 2015)
- 75% Of Charleston Faculty Put Their Jobs On The Line, Blast Law School's Management(May 16, 2015)
- Charleston Law School Lays Off Seven Additional Faculty, Announces Plans To Enroll Students For The Fall (May 24, 2015)
- Chronicle Of Higher Education: The Fight Over Charleston Law School (June 10, 2015)
- Two Fired Tenured Profs Sue Charleston Law School (July 3, 2015)
- Judge Grants TRO Reinstating Fired Tenured Charleston Law School Professor (Aug. 4, 2015)
- Amidst 48% Decline In 1L Class, Charleston Law School Admissions Dean Abruptly Resigns (Aug. 14, 2015)
- Charleston Law School Denies Tenure To Three Deserving Candidates Due To Financial Exigency (Aug. 15, 2015)
- Charleston Law School Files Counterclaims Against Two Fired Tenured Professors (Oct. 23, 2015)
- New Owner To Turn Charleston Law School Into Non-Profit, Ending Possibility Of Sale To Infilaw (Oct. 29, 2015)
- New Charleston Law School President Promises Students Jobs, New Campus (Nov. 9, 2015)
- Seven Fired Professors Return To Work At Charleston Law School, Despite 48% Decline In Enrollment (Mar. 30, 2016)
- Charleston, Florida Coastal Law Schools Fail 'Gainful Employment' Test, Will Lose Federal Student Loans If They Fail Again Next Year; Three Other Law Schools In Danger Zone (Jan. 12, 2017)
- Charleston Law School's Unexpected Rebound (July 11, 2017)
- After Rebuffing Sale To InfiLaw, Dean Says Charleston Law School 's Conversion To Nonprofit Will Be Completed In 2020 (Feb. 3, 2019)